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The Queen of My Self

The Queen of My Self

Powerful Words

posted by Donna Henes

Here are some wise words of inspiration in regard to your relationship to power. Take them in and feel their energy work on you.

The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don’t have any.
- Alice Walker

The minute you settle for less than you deserve, you get even less than you settled for.
- Maureen Dowd

If you realized how powerful your thoughts are, you would never think a negative thought.
- Peace Pilgrim

No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.
- Eleanor Roosevelt

I’m not afraid of storms, for I’m learning to sail my ship.
-  Louisa May Alcott  

When we speak we are afraid our words will not be heard or welcomed.
But when we are silent, we are still afraid.
So it is better to speak.
- Audre Lorde

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Find out who you are and do it on purpose.
- Dolly Parton

It doesn’t matter who you are, where you come from. The ability to triumph begins with you. Always.
- Oprah Winfrey

When I see the elaborate study and ingenuity displayed by women in the pursuit of trifles, I feel no doubt of their capacity for the most herculean undertakings.  
- Julia Ward Howe

But life is a battle: may we all be enabled to fight it well!
- Charlotte Bronte

You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it.” – Maya Angelou

Women are the only exploited group in history to have been idealized into powerlessness.  
- Erica Jong

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Men are taught to apologize for their weaknesses, women for their strengths.  
- Lois Wyse
Words of Power

I do not wish them to have power over men, but over themselves.  
- Mary Wollstonecraft

I’m tough, I’m ambitious, and I know exactly what I want.  If that makes me a bitch, okay.  
- Madonna Ciccone

I am not afraid. I was born to do this.
-Joan of Arc

We never know how high we are
Till we are called to rise;
And then, if we are true to plan,
Our statures touch the skies.
- Emily Dickinson

* Please send me your thoughts about power. Also stories of your own empowerment. When shared, these ideas and examples are extremely inspiring to others. Thanks.

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 ***
The Queen welcomes questions concerning all issues of interest to women in their mature years. Send your inquiries to thequeenofmyself@aol.com.

CONSULT THE MIDLIFE MIDWIFE™
Queen Mama Donna offers upbeat, practical and ceremonial guidance for individual women and groups who want to enjoy the fruits of an enriching, influential, purposeful, passionate, and powerful maturity.

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Tend and Befriend: The Power of Women’s Friendships

posted by Donna Henes

“Men walk, women talk.” The veracity of this the popular saying was recently proved in a landmark study conducted by two women scientists at UCLA.

The long-held idea that the familiar “fight or flight” mechanism was the universal human response to stress, (based of studies that were conducted with only male subjects) was turned on its ear by Drs. Laura Klein and Shelley Taylor. Their research suggests that women don’t necessarily run away or engage is confrontational combat when they bare threatened. According to their stunning findings, women seem to operate from a larger range of behavioral options.

“Until this study was published, scientists generally believed that when people experience stress, they trigger a hormonal cascade that revs the body to either stand and fight or flee as fast as possible,” explains Laura Cousino Klein, Ph.D., now an Assistant Professor of Biobehavioral Health at Penn State University and one of the study’s authors. “It’s an ancient survival mechanism left over from the time we were chased across the planet by saber-toothed tigers.”

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But women react completely differently. In stressful situations, women experience a cascade of brain chemicals that cause us to make and maintain friendships with other women. Specifically, the hormone oxytocin, released as part of the stress response in women, lessens the fight or flight response and prompts us to tend children, old people, and animals, and gather together with other women instead.

And once women do engage in this tending or befriending, studies suggest, more oxytocin is released, which further counteracts stress and produces a comforting effect. “This calming response does not occur in men,” says Dr. Klein, “because testosterone — which men produce in high levels when they’re under stress — seems to reduce the effects oxytocin. Estrogen seems to enhance it.”

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What do you do when you are worried, or threatened, stressed to the max, or scared shitless? You call your girlfriend! Consider the enormous significance of this behavior and the ramifications of its effect on our health and well-being. Study after study, years of research, has found that social ties reduce our risk of disease by lowering blood pressure, heart rate, and cholesterol. “There’s no doubt,” says Dr. Klein, “that friends are helping us live longer.”

Friendships not only keep us alive, they enhance our quality of life. The famed Nurses’ Health Study from Harvard Medical School found that the more friends women had, the less likely they were to develop serious physical impairments as they aged, and the more likely they were to be leading joyful lives. The results were so significant that the researchers concluded that not having close friends or confidantes was as detrimental to your health as smoking or carrying extra weight!

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Even the event of the death of a spouse, perhaps the most intense stress inducer, failed to result in any new physical impairments or permanent loss of vitality in women who had a close friend with whom they confide and commiserate. Those without friends did not fare nearly so well.

 * Please send me your thoughts about power. Also stories of your own empowerment. When shared, these ideas and examples are extremely inspiring to others. Thanks.

 ***
The Queen welcomes questions concerning all issues of interest to women in their mature years. Send your inquiries to thequeenofmyself@aol.com.

CONSULT THE MIDLIFE MIDWIFE™

Queen Mama Donna offers upbeat, practical and ceremonial guidance for individual women and groups who want to enjoy the fruits of an enriching, influential, purposeful, passionate, and powerful maturity.

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Hymns to Hestia

posted by Donna Henes

Hestia, Goddess Of The Hearth And Home
By Anne Baird, BC, Canada

Hestia is the “unknown goddess.”
The few statues that exist of her
show a sturdy matron,
dressed in a sensible toga,
her face often shadowed by a cowl.
Her anonymity is deliberate.
She embodies all those women
who choose to stay at home,
and keep the home fires burning.
She is the one we come home to.
The one we pray will be there, and always is.
She is the heart and soul of the family.
The solid core of civilized society.
Where would we be without Hestia?
Her groundedness allows her children to fly.
And to fly home again.
Blessed Hestia, of all the goddesses,
You are the most essential.

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Hestia’s Fire Haiku
By Lorraine Margueritte Gasrel Black, NY
 
A cord of wood piled
to warm the hearth, home sweet home
mice take residence

Hestia Poem
By Melia Suez, CO
 
Hestia, maiden pure,
Has no desire for love.
First and last born,
Her hand was sought
By Sea and Light.
Completely unwilling,
Stubborn even,
She refused to be a matron,
Swearing on the head of the Father
To be maiden all her days.
Given was she, honor high,
A place in every home and temple
And the richest offerings,
both first and last.
Hail Hestia, Chief of the Goddesses
May you warm my home
And make all who enter welcome.

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To Hestia
By Hesiod 

Hestia, you who tend the holy house of the lord Apollo,
the Far-shooter at goodly Pytho,    
with soft oil dripping ever from your locks, come now into this house,
come, having one mind with Zeus the all-wise
draw near, and withal bestow grace upon my song.

***
The Queen welcomes questions concerning all issues of interest to women in their mature years. Send your inquiries to thequeenofmyself@aol.com.

CONSULT THE MIDLIFE MIDWIFE™
Queen Mama Donna offers upbeat, practical and ceremonial guidance for individual women and groups who want to enjoy the fruits of an enriching, influential, purposeful, passionate, and powerful maturity.

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I Like Winter

posted by Donna Henes

We are now past the midpoint of winter. Spring will be here exactly one month from today, the realization of which would normally please me no end. I would have had my fill of dark and cold. But this year, I feel sad, nostalgic, about the winter that barely was. Bereft, really.

I look forward every year to the deep freeze of winter and for the freedom that it gives me to dig in and stay put. I like the winter. I like the holing in and the hibernating. I value winter as a time to go inside, batten down the hatches, and stay there, snug and sound till springtime. For me it is a time of taking care of myself on very visceral, physical, and domestic levels.

Winter is a time to sleep more and dream more. A time to read more and write more. A time to make big pots of soup and clean and mend and iron and organize my files and my photographs. Winter brings out all of my hermit tendencies and I could easily spend a week or so at home alone, perfectly happy, and never leave the house.

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On the other hand, I also love to bundle up and take long solitary urban hikes with my pup Poppy in the still chill of the park, crunching through the snow, communing with the skeleton trees, scavenging pieces of wood and bark for my fireplace. These forays make me feel like a wild woman who runs with the wolves, even if they are citified chip monks, squirrels and cocker spaniels.

The very best part of these rambles is always returning home, with frozen toes and bright red cheeks, to my warm loft where I am welcomed by my inviting indoor gardens and resident pets. I remove my boots, strip off my multitude of layers, put on my slippers, put up some tea, and light the wood I have gathered. Ah, home again home again, jiggedy jog.

In the stark dark of the season in the pitch of the long winter nights it is only natural to turn inward toward the center. Drawn by an irresistible magnetic force, I am pulled inside of myself, inside of my home, inside of my relationships for the comfort, warmth, love, safety and peace that I find there.

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I also find pieces of my own psyche that are now somehow phosphorescent and glow in the dark, whereas they are hidden when I am flitting about in the height of the light times. The quiet and sedentary dark season is when I am challenged to explore the deep inner passages of my own thoughts and imagination, feelings and spirit, The complexities of my own heart and soul.

The hearth is the heart of the home. It is the high altar of the art and craft of living. Its central heat fuels the most basic and profound daily rituals of nurturing, sustenance, support and cheer. The hearth stokes the healthy spirit that comes from physical ease and emotional fulfillment. And we appreciate it all that much more when it is frigid outside.

Winter is the time for comfort, for good food and warmth…it is the time for home.
– Edith Sitwell

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Spring will be here in six weeks and I am not ready. There are still so many books on my winter reading pile. So many soup ideas, So many projects I was hoping to get to. So I plan to take full advantage of the remaining weeks of winter. Won’t you join me?

Let us use what is left of this inside time to explore the depth of our hearts and souls for the insight, inspiration and enlightenment that we may find there. Let us worship at the domestic shrine and share the holy sacraments of soup and stew and mulled cider. Let us open our hearts and our homes to all of the possibilities of love. Let us create peace in our hearts, in our homes and in the world.

* Please send me your thoughts about power. Also stories of your own empowerment. When shared, these ideas and examples are extremely inspiring to others. Thanks.

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 ***
The Queen welcomes questions concerning all issues of interest to women in their mature years. Send your inquiries to thequeenofmyself@aol.com.

CONSULT THE MIDLIFE MIDWIFE™
Queen Mama Donna offers upbeat, practical and ceremonial guidance for individual women and groups who want to enjoy the fruits of an enriching, influential, purposeful, passionate, and powerful maturity.

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